Barcelona will reportedly have to shell out a massive sum of €80 million if they intend to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City in January.

According to a report from Spanish outlet MARCA, Manchester City have set a huge asking price of €80 million for star forward Raheem Sterling, who is a January transfer target for La Liga giants Barcelona.

Sterling has been with Manchester City since 2015 when he arrived from fellow Premier League club, Liverpool. During his time at the Etihad Stadium, the 26-year-old grew into one of the best attacking players in England, becoming a mainstay for club and country in the process.

Sterling has played a huge role in the success that Manchester City have been able to achieve in the past five years under Pep Guardiola. The ex-Liverpool star was also key to England’s run to the finals in the UEFA Euro 2020 earlier this summer. However, in recent months, he has seen his stock within the Manchester City squad plummet.

Indeed, manager Guardiola has relied more heavily on new signing Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, Ferran Torres and Riyad Mahrez in the attacking third of the pitch, leaving Sterling with a bit-part role to play. Of his eight Premier League appearances this season, only three have come from the start, indicating his standing in the pecking order at the club.

Barcelona calling? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Barcelona calling? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

As a result, Sterling has admitted to being open to an exit in the January transfer window should an opportunity present itself. And, Barcelona are among clubs that have taken a keen interest in his situation. The 26-year-old had been on the club’s agenda during the summer window itself, but they were in no position to make a move for him at the time.

However, wage cuts and player sales have somewhat improved their situation with regards to the salary bill and the compliance to La Liga FFP rules, paving the way for more additions during the January transfer window. And someone like Sterling would take the team to a whole new level without a doubt.

There has been a sense of overreliance on Memphis Depay in the early stages of the campaign at Barcelona. Although Ansu Fati and Sergio Aguero’s return to full fitness should address that issue, adding another top-quality forward to their ranks would ensure that Ronald Koeman & co. remain in the title picture as a strong contender.

Sterling himself is said to be open to the idea of making the switch to Camp Nou during the winter transfer window. However, as per the aforementioned report, it will take a transfer fee of €80 million for Barcelona to snare him away from Manchester City during January, something that is beyond their means at the moment.

Manchester City are unlikely to lower their demands, even though Sterling’s deal runs out in 2023. There had been speculations of a potential player-plus-cash arrangement involving Ousmane Dembele. Whether such an arrangement can be agreed upon remains to be seen. But if the Premier League champions remain insistent on the €80 million fee, it is unlikely that Barcelona would be able to sign Sterling.

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